LAKE BARRINGTON, AUSTRALIA, OCT. 30 -- Americans Holly Brunkow and Lindsay Burns won their heat in the women's lightweight double sculls today and became the favorites to capture the event in the World Rowing Championships.

Brunkow and Burns, who have been rowing together for only a month, were timed in 7 minutes 8.97 seconds -- three seconds faster than the other heat winners, West Germans Brigitte Helmers and Christiane Weber. The U.S. pair moved directly into Sunday's final.

"We have barely come together and there is still a long way to go," said Brunkow, a rowing coach at Oregon State. "We'll use the rest days to improve our technique and get faster."

Canada was impressive, winning its first-round heat in the men's eights in the record time of 5:30.43 seconds over the 2,000-meter course, beating East Germany, Great Britain and the United States. Michael Porterfield of Alexandria, Va., is a member of the U.S. eight, which was timed in 5:35.58 and will row in the repechage Wednesday.

Defending champion West Germany joined Canada in Sunday's final by winning the second heat in 5:34.17, ahead of the Soviet Union and New Zealand.

Canadian Silken Laumann produced a surprise in the heats of the women's single sculls, qualifying quickest in 7:22.12. American Anne Marden was third behind Laumann in 7:36.36 and was scheduled for Wednesday's repechage.

Australia was the fastest qualifier for the men's four without coxswain final, timed in 5:55.72, while Romania led the qualifiers for the men's pair with coxswain in 6:54.93.

The Canadian team of Rachel Starr, Jill Blois, Diana Sinnige and Colleen Miller was the fastest in the heats of the women's lightweight fours without coxswain, clocking 6:51.28 to beat Britain and Australia.

The Soviet Union won the other heat in 6:52.73 to advance to the final. Defending champion China was second and the U.S. team, which included Charlotte Hollings of Alexandria, Va., was third; both will race in the repechage Wednesday.

Also listed for repechage action are Kevin Bedell of Arlington, Va., fourth in his heat of the lightweight single sculls Monday; Malcolm Baker of Washington, D.C., and Jason Scott of Alexandria, Va., whose four with coxswain placed third Monday, and Jim Pierce of Woodbridge, Va., whose lightweight four without coxswain crew finished fifth in a heat Monday.